Cardano vs. Solana: Which is Best?

Cardano vs Solana- Which is Best?
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Let’s analyze and compare the popular blockchains to see where each takes the lead

Cardano and Solana are two of the most popular blockchains in the market. Both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but which one is the best? In this article, we will compare Cardano and Solana in six different categories: blockchain history, technology, coins, dapps, NFTs, and community. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Cardano vs. Solana

Web3 enthusiasts have compared Cardano to Solana for quite some time. While the two blockchains have a strong fanbase as Ethereum-alternative, concluding which one might actually take the lead isn’t as simple as it seems.

Cardano and Solana have different purposes, target audiences, and features. However, with the growing interest in these new technologies, it’s only natural that these two projects would be pitted against each other.

So, which blockchain is the best? And what about each of their cryptocurrencies, ADA and SOL? Let’s take a closer look at this Cardano vs Solana showdown.

Round 1: Blockchain history

Cardano was founded in 2015 by three co-founders, Charles Hoskinson, Jeremy Wood, and John O’Connor. Its history is directly linked to Ethereum since Hoskinson is also one of the co-founders of the leading blockchain. Therefore, Cardano was created out of a desire to build a more scientifically rigorous blockchain protocol than any that had come before it. It is a third-generation blockchain developed by IOHK, a blockchain infrastructure research and engineering company, with the Cardano Foundation and Emurgo.

Solana’s origins are a bit more recent, on the other hand, dating back to 2017, with its mainnet beta launched in March 2020. Founded by Qualcomm engineers Anatoly Yakovenko and Greg Fitzgerald, it is a WebScale blockchain that can process 50,000 transactions per second – a very fast and very cheap blockchain.

Both projects are led by renowned teams, consistently bringing improvements and innovations to blockchain technologies.

Round 2: Technology

Cardano settlement layer is powered by the Ouroboros Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm, which is the first provably secure PoS protocol. Cardano also has a second layer for smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapps), which is powered by the Plutus programming language. Cardano’s architecture is designed to be scalable, flexible, and upgradeable. On top of that, it also plans to be powered by multiple proof-of-stake algorithms eventually.

Solana’s blockchain is powered by its own Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm, called Proof of History (PoH). PoH is a scalability solution that allows Solana to process thousands of transactions per second. Solana also uses something called the TxFlow algorithm to improve transaction throughput and reduce fees.

Both Solana and Cardano solved Ethereum’s scalability issue, facilitating the development of smart-contract-enabled projects. However, by offering users lower transaction costs and better speed, Solana seems to take advantage.

Round 3: Coins

Cardano and Solana have each their own cryptocurrency. Cardano’s native coin is called ADA, and it has a total market capitalization of $14 billion at the time of writing. It is used to pay for transaction fees and rewards Cardano stakers, as well as currency in all Cardano dapps.

Solana’s native cryptocurrency is called SOL, with a total market cap of $12 billion at the time of writing. A close number to a newer coin.

While ADA had its all-time high in September 2021 at $3.1, SOL price rose to $216 in the same month. At the time of writing, ADA’s price stood at $0.43, and SOL’s at $34.77.

The value of cryptocurrencies, like most assets on Web3, is extremely volatile and depends on a number of factors external to the project itself. Therefore, only a financial advisor will be able to analyze the current state of the market to indicate whether it is better to invest in ADA or SOL – or if you should invest at all.

Round 4: Dapps

Since both Cardano and Solana allow developers to build decentralized applications on their blockchains, one must also take this into consideration when comparing the two of them.

As of June 2022, Cardano hosted around one thousand dapps, with a focus on non-fungible token projects (NFT) – while in the previous years, it had been decentralized finance (DeFi).

Solana has over 350 dapps built on its platform, with some being industry leaders in gaming, NFTs, and DeFi number of users, volume, and transactions.

Round 5: NFTs

Both Cardano and Solana have created their own NFTs, and, although not as popular as the original Ethereum-based NFTs, they are both slowly gaining traction.

Cardano’s biggest NFT marketplace, JPG Store, has a registered volume of over $8 million in incoming value for the past 30 days. There, the top 3 NFT collections on Cardano of all time include Spacebudz, Pavia virtual world land NFTs, and Clay Nation.

But however engaged the Cardano NFT community may be, Solana’s NFTs are one step ahead. 

Starting from the most famous NFT marketplace on Solana, Magic Eden, which is in constant contention for the overall first place against the giant OpenSea. For a quick comparison, the Solana marketplace shows a volume of $129 million during the same period.

The top 3 NFT collections on Solana of all time bring Degenerate Ape Academy, Solana Monkey Business, and Aurory to the spotlight – but new projects are popping up in this Q3 of 2022 while interest in Solana NFTs grows.

Round 6: Community

Having an engaged community is vitally important to Web3 projects. The industry is competitive, and everything moves fast, but the most glaring thing is that if no one supports your idea and work, your effort will be worthless.

In this respect, the Cardano community has done a great job. Each member advocates for the project in an almost religious way, and while the Solana community also has its unquestionable strength, this round’s winner is Cardano.

Cardano vs. Solana: the final results

After comparing Cardano and Solana in various aspects, we can see that each blockchain excels in certain aspects.

Cardano’s longer history, PoS, and strong community give it an edge over Solana. However, Solana’s large NFT space, efficient PoH, and support for other cryptocurrencies make it a worthy competitor.

In the end, it is up to the user to decide which platform is best for them – and for what purpose to use each. The final choice of which blockchain is better is personal. Only you can decide from your own needs, experience, and even a bit of faith in the project.

Keep learning about blockchains with DappRadar

Whether you prefer Cardano or Solana or any other blockchain, at DappRadar you can find impartial and analytical content about them.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about these important blockchains with us. If you’re interested in learning more about the exciting world of Web3, stay tuned to our blog and Twitter.

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The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your own research.

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